We still do not have clear answers on what, exactly, is happening between defensive end Chandler Jones and the Las Vegas Raiders, other than what we’ve been able to plainly see in public — that Jones had a beef with coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, to the point that he began calling them out publicly on social media and then deleting the posts.
We also know that Chandler, though he said he did not want to continue to play for the Raiders in the larger sense, does not want to be held out of the September 11 opener against the Denver Broncos, but that Ziegler and McDaniels are holding him out for “personal reasons.”
But we also know that Jones has had at least one odd incident in his past — back when he was playing for the New England Patriots in 2016, when he showed up shirtless at the Foxborough, Massachusetts, police department one frigid Sunday morning and began to pray. He was taken to a hospital at the time, and the Boston Globe later reported that the incident was blamed on the use of synthetic marijuana.
So, for Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin, the focus was first on Jones’ mental health.
“First, let’s say, we’re praying for Chandler Jones,” said Irvin on the September 8 episode of Fox Sports’ “Undisputed.” “We hope he’s fine. Whatever he’s going through, we send our best and we hope he gets whatever he needs to get through it. And I, too, wish this would have been handled more privately.”
Chandler Jones to Blame for Going Public With Raiders Complaints
Of course, it was Jones who turned the Raiders’ pre-Week 1 preparation into a circus by posting angry messages on Instagram about the team, especially McDaniels and Ziegler. The reasons are not fully known, and there were vague references to the possibility that the Raiders called the mother of his child, which, Jones said, “provoked” him. He then complained about not being able to enter the team facility and not being able to get hold of McDaniels or Ziegler.
In another post, Jones wrote that he was done with the Raiders. “F*** it, I don’t wanna play for the Raiders if that’s my HC or GM.” He then later complained that the Raiders dispatched a member of the Las Vegas Crisis Response Team to his house.
McDaniels would not discuss the matter during the week. “I’m not going to get into this. It’s a personal situation,” he told reporters.
Michael Irvin Knew Trouble as a Player
Irvin has reason to be especially sympathetic to Jones, having stirred his share of controversy during his playing career, including a 1996 arrest in Dallas on drug charges. He was suspended, too, by the NFL Network earlier for alleged inappropriate conduct toward a hotel employee during the Super Bowl. Irvin has vigorously denied the allegation.
“Now, Josh McDaniels saying he has no comment. That’s all he can say,” Irvin said. “I’m sure HIPAA laws and everything apply here — when you start talking about sending someone over to check on your well-being. But now, everybody out here in the public wants that to be made public and it becomes, ‘OK, is he OK?’ Him telling us that they sent someone there because the Raiders didn’t tell us, him telling us they sent someone there, we start saying, ‘What’s going on with Chandler Jones?’”
Jones has said what he really wants to do next is play in Week 1. Whatever is happening between Jones and McDaniels, or Jones and Zielger, or between Jones’ own two ears, Irvin pointed out, the Raiders could use him against Denver.
“He obviously says there’s nothing wrong with him. … This is a hard one right here, man—you gotta talk to those guys in the locker room, what did you guys see before all that transpired? We can get that, we can find out what’s going on,’ Irvin said. “But all I can say is, I’m worried about him. But they could use him on the football field, let’s be real about that.”